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Charlotte Mannion of Quicklearn

New programme aims to help women break glass ceiling

With the drive to get women into directorships stalling, long-standing businesswoman Charlotte Mannion is running a pioneering new programme to encourage women to push their careers forward.

Charlotte, who runs Swindon-based training and coaching company Quicklearn and is chartered fellow of the CIPD, has become one of just a handful of women in the country to qualify to run the ReNew You programme – a personal development programme for women devised by specialist Jane C Woods of Changing People Limited.

The programme aims to help women improve their skills and give them the confidence to push their careers forward and break through the glass ceiling into the boardroom.

Recently, a new report by Cranfield School of Management, the Government’s official monitor of the number of women on listed boards, revealed that the drive to increase female board representation had lost momentum.

Over the past six months, the number of FTSE 100 board appointments going to women has dropped from 44 percent to 26 percent.

This in the face of evidence that companies with at least one woman board member do better – in its report of August 2012, Credit Suisse report that companies with at least one woman on their board have outperformed companies with no women by 26 per cent from 2005 to 2011.

Charlotte said she was inspired to run the programme through Quicklearn because she came across so many talented women in business who lacked the confidence to promote themselves and their talents.

And she cites evidence from an Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM) 2011 report, which found women were held back at work by low ambitions and expectations, lack of self-belief and confidence, a cautious approach to pursuing career opportunities, and a less than straightforward career path.

“Even in 2013 women are finding it hard to progress their careers beyond a certain level, and in part this is due to confidence,” said Charlotte.

“The ReNew You programme sets goals which are achievable and tracks their progress over a year. It also highlights the stories of some amazing women, which will really inspire the participants to examine their own careers and work out how they can progress them to the very highest level.”

The ReNew You programme comprises a one-day workshop with a workbook to complete over the following 12 months. Charlotte is hoping business owners and managers, wanting to nurture the female talent in their organisations, will run the programme in-house.

And she could find herself getting support from central government.

Following the Cranfield School of Management report, Women and Equalities Minister Maria Miller said: “The reality is, women are still hampered by inequalities in the workplace. While the gender pay gap is falling, there is still a long way to go, and many women still experience barriers when looking to get ahead – including lack of female role models, the cost of childcare, lack of workplace flexibility, and a lack of transparency around recruitment for senior positions.”

For more information about ReNew You visit or contact Charlotte on 01793 790331.